Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted Tuesday he would have to “displace” Mayor Bill de Blasio to send the National Guard into riot-ravaged New York City against Hizzoner’s wishes — if he even wanted to.
“I’ve offered the National Guard, the mayor has said he can handle it with the NYPD,” Cuomo said Tuesday in an Albany press briefing. “My option is to displace the mayor of New York City and bring in the National Guard as the governor in a state of emergency, and basically take over.
“[Point] A, I don’t think we’re at that point. B, that would be such a chaotic situation in the midst of an already chaotic situation.”
What were supposed to be peaceful protests of the death of George Floyd — a black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck — devolved into widespread looting and violence for a fifth-straight night Monday into Tuesday.
Despite 8,000 NYPD cops on the street and an 11 p.m. curfew in place, bands of looters broke off from the demonstrations to lay waste to Midtown, Lower Manhattan and The Bronx.
Cuomo raged Tuesday that de Blasio and the NYPD failed to stop the destruction and chaos, demanding that even more cops be deployed — but stopping short of ordering any of the state’s 13,000 National Guard troops into the Big Apple.
“You’d have to displace the mayor in the middle of this situation and file charges and have a hearing,” Cuomo insisted. “It is absurd.”
In the face of calls from both President Trump and congressional Rep. Max Rose (D-SI/Brooklyn) to take the drastic step, Cuomo punted the call to de Blasio, who has actively resisted calling in the Guard, even earlier Tuesday.
But Cuomo has repeatedly gone over Hizzoner’s head amid the coronavirus crisis, despite first saying the call lies with City Hall and he didn’t want to step on de Blasio’s authority.
In addition to insisting that the call isn’t his to make, Cuomo said that he remains confident that increased deployment of the NYPD can restore order.
“You have 38,000 NYPD people. It is the largest police department in the United States of America,” Cuomo said in a moment of address to de Blasio. “Use 38,000 people.”
Calling in the Guard at this time, Cuomo said, would only add to the disorder rather than quell it.
“You can’t have two police forces,” he said. “That’s called chaos and mayhem and people get hurt.”
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